FORMER Ireland man Steven Reid has pleased for his former boss at West Brom, Roy Hodgson, to be given time to make a success of the England side.
Reid and his Baggies team-mates have this week said their goodbyes to Hodgson as he take up the reins with the English team, with the former Irish international admitting that he was "gutted" to see his boss leave the Hawthorns, especially as Reid has only this week signed a new two-year contract.
"He's up there with the best I've worked with. 'm biased because he played me almost every time I was fit so I'm a big fan," Reid said today.
"As a club we developed, as a team we developed and as players too. I know I became a better player with him in charge. I'm very sad to see him
go," added Reid, who has appealed for the English fans - and media - to give the new boss time.
"I just hope he gets the time to get his ideas across because we all know the British press are quick to get on the backs of the managers," he added.
"I read a few bits in the press and got a bit annoyed that people are jumping to conclusions saying that he is a 'yes' man, and dour and has no character.
"Behind the scenes, we all know as players what he's like but people have got a certain impression of him.
"He's a completely different person as a manager and in the changing room than what the public image of him is. I can't speak highly enough of him.
"It's been decided that he fits the criteria. I'm pretty sure he will go on and be a great success. I'm going to miss him and, selfishly, I'm gutted that he's gone.
"I'm 31 now and I've improved so much since he's been at the club - defensively and tactically - and my knowledge of the game," added Reid, who made 22 appearances for the Baggies this term before his season was ended by injury.
Reid initially joined the Baggies on loan from Blackburn in March 2012 and made a permanent move that summer, Hodgson arriving in February 2011 as a replacement for Roberto di Matteo.
Hodgson, meanwhile, spent yesterday in the English Football Association offices at Wembley, planning his Rio Ferdinand-John Terry peace talks and discussing a possible assistant coach drawn from the 30-something generation of ex-England internationals. Phil Neville is a contender.
With Euro 2012 looming, Hodgson has much to ponder, with the Ferdinand-Terry situation high on the agenda.
Terry is in court on July 9 to face a charge of racially abusing Ferdinand's brother, Anton. Terry, the Chelsea captain, denies the allegation.
Ferdinand, the Manchester United centre-half, is open to being in the squad for the Euros with Terry but Hodgson needs to defuse the tension. He has yet to decide whether to see Ferdinand and Terry in person or contact them over the phone.
As well as solving the Ferdinand-Terry conundrum, Hodgson needs to bring in a coach. Somebody such as Neville, currently doing his badges while playing at Everton, and possibly Alan Shearer, are the type of emerging coaches Hodgson is looking for. He wants somebody young who can double up as a conduit with the dressing room.
Neville, who played 59 times for his country, has won respect for his role as Everton captain and has already been involved with the England Under-21 squad.